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COVID-19 Outbreaks at QHC BGH- Quinte 5 and ICU

Two separate COVID-19 outbreaks have been declared at QHC Belleville General Hospital.  One on the Quinte 5 medicine unit and one in the Intensive Care Unit at QHC-Belleville General Hospital. 

The definition of a COVID-19 outbreak in a hospital is set by the province and is declared in collaboration between Quinte Health Care and Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH). It is defined as at least two cases (patients and/or staff) within a specified unit within a 14-day period.

Contact tracing is underway and all staff and patients on the units will be tested for COVID-19 for surveillance reasons.   

For the number of individuals (staff and patients) that have tested positive, visit the outbreak section of the HPE Public Health dashboard - Cases of COVID-19 in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties - Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (hpepublichealth.ca) 

For the duration of the outbreak (at least two weeks), visiting will be paused on Quinte 5, except in end-of-life situations.

Care partners and loved ones can set up a virtual visit through QHC’s website - http://www.qhc.on.ca/virtual-visits.php

We wish our affected staff members a quick return to good health.


Is it still safe to go to QHC hospitals for care?

Yes, please do not hesitate to seek out the hospital-level care your require. The outbreaks are contained to the Quinte 5 and ICU units and we have implemented enhanced control measures to prevent further transmission. This includes:

  • Thorough and enhanced ongoing cleaning
  • Testing of all patients and staff on the affected unit
  • Contact tracing for possible exposure of patients and staff
  • Continuing and ongoing use of infection prevention and control practices including the use personal protective equipment

Is this the first COVID outbreak at BGH?

This is the first outbreak at BGH involving staff. There was a brief outbreak during the first wave of the pandemic when two patients tested positive on Quinte 5. QHC is one of dozens of Ontario hospitals currently managing COVID outbreaks.

How did the outbreaks start?

Outbreaks within hospitals are typically triggered through staff working in the pre-symptomatic phase before they have symptoms and test positive. They can also start through patients who present asymptomatic from a COVID-19 perspective and have negative results upon their admission (if tested), but develop the infection while in hospital. There is often uncertainty on whether staff have acquired COVID at work or in the community where the virus is circulating. Regardless, the standard practice is to include all cases where we feel it could be reasonably acquired in the hospital and implement appropriate control measures.